In his book Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson created the term Metaverse for the first time in 1992. Now, 30 years later, this term is one of the most popular to describe future technologies. In the new Recoded Media episode, Stephenson talks about his novel and why he still believes in the importance of Blockchain.
The central concept of a dystopian novel has become a way of describing our utopian future. Mark Zuckerberg started using Metaverse in 2021 to describe a virtual place to interact with other users, VR. Although the main thing of this new universe may be Virtual Reality, it homes many other things like; Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, essential for journalism’s evolution.
On the other hand, Blockchain is an intelligent way to stop monetizing individuals’ private data. According to Stephenson, when the people behind the online get paid properly, there is no need to sell the information the web picks up.
Journalism in the Metaverse
Metaverse journalism is a rising trend that has the potential to revolutionize the field of journalism. It enables reporters to conduct interviews and cover news in a virtual space, offering a more immersive experience for both the journalist and the audience. This new medium allows users to interact with digital avatars they may not have the chance to speak with in real life. Additionally, Metaverse journalism allows viewing related images and experiences of current events, including real-time footage and developments.
The field of Metaverse journalism is expanding, and some publishers and journalists are taking advantage of its opportunities. For instance, Vice’s news organization has established a new Metaverse office focusing on VR journalism. The Vice headquarters is Blockchain-based Decentraland, a global meeting point for team collaboration, briefings, and virtual project demonstrations. Vice is also using the online space to conduct digital field research on the sociology of digital communities.
However, not all news organizations are eager to invest in digital platforms due to the high costs of developing AI technologies. Additionally, such organizations require more use cases and company cases for AI that stem from journalistic thinking and need.
Despite the potential advantages of Metaverse journalism, early versions have encountered some limitations. One significant challenge is scalability, which relies on VR headsets and other personal devices. Since VR headsets are not widely used, most people need help accessing content created in VR. Another issue is that VR experiences can cause discomfort and nausea, potentially limiting the appeal of accessing digital content.
Blockchain: What it is and how can it help journalism
Integrating blockchain technology into journalism can solve significant challenges the field faces. The following benefits can be achieved when journalism collaborates with Blockchain:
- Crypto payments for authors Journalists may be incentivized to conduct better investigations and produce higher-quality content through direct support from readers and followers via cryptocurrencies. This payment method allows readers to send money directly to authors, bypassing intermediaries. Independent outlets and those covering controversial topics can also benefit from this support.
As authors become less dependent on funding from advertisers, media outlets can have more control over which promotional campaigns to accept or reject.
- Incentives for reader input to obtain reliable sources of information, journalists rely heavily on engaged readers willing to share their knowledge. Offering incentives in the form of crypto coins or tokens can encourage reader participation, not only as informants but also as an incentive to comment or share an article.
The future is here
In conclusion, the rise of metaverse journalism presents a new medium for reporters to cover news and conduct interviews in a virtual space. Despite some limitations, such as scalability issues and the need for VR headsets, the potential advantages of metaverse journalism are significant. Publishers and journalists, such as Vice’s news organization, already use metaverse opportunities to create more immersive experiences for their audiences.
Furthermore, integrating blockchain technology into journalism can provide solutions to some of the significant challenges faced by the industry. For example, using cryptocurrencies to pay authors directly can increase motivation and support for independent outlets and controversial topics. At the same time, incentives for reader input encourage reader participation and provide trustworthy sources of information.
Overall, the combination of the Metaverse and Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize journalism, offering audiences more immersive experiences and providing solutions to long-standing challenges in the industry.